Real People. Real Scam Stories.
I had just been fired from my job when I saw an ad on a local classified website that said "help wanted" for a job "processing online ads". The ad indicated that there were only a few positions available. And in order to apply, you needed to send them $19.95 via PayPal so that they would send you a training manual to teach you how to process the ads. When I received the manual, I noticed that it was teaching me how to set up an ad (like the one I responded) to take people’s money.
I really don’t know what I was thinking when I responded to a job ad that asked for payment. But I’ve learned my lesson. I no longer respond to job ads from unknown sources – especially if they ask for payment beforehand.
Malicious YouTube Video
The virus was a video that said "I can't believe high school was so long ago! You really have the moves in this video!" - and it was from someone I went to high school with, so I clicked it. It launched a YouTube looking site but only after it started to load did I notice the URL was not YouTube but www.yuotube.com - at that moment the virus software on my PC sent up a warning box telling me that there was malicious software trying to gain access. But it was too late and I had to run a scan of my PC, which resulted in it telling me what the virus was named and where it was, but that it was unable to quarantine it, so I had to manually remove it and then my IE browser was disabled because the virus was attached to the proxy that lets my PC get to the internet. What's worse is that by clicking the link, the virus then had access to my Facebook address book and sent out a few different messages to people in my address book. Luckily I was able to put a warning in my status on F'book telling people not to open any videos from me. Long story short, huge pain in the butt.
- Matt Hogan, New York, NY
Wal-Mart E-mail Scam
I received an e-mail from "Wal-Mart" asking me to complete a survey and get $90 added to my account. I don't mind completing surveys if I feel they will help an organization or business to provide better customer service. At first I thought Wal-Mart might actually give me money on a Wal-Mart card or something of that nature (but I knew better).
The first thing I looked for was a secure site. It did not indicate that it was a secure site. I clicked on various links at the top of the page (of course they were not real links (another warning sign). They asked for my credit card information (why would Wal-Mart need my credit card information when they have Wal-Mart cards?). Out of concern for the elderly or kids I thought I should report it right away. I went to Wal-Mart's actual website and found a link for Help under Customer Service. If we don't report scams then someone in our family may be the next victim.
- Teresa Turnbo, LaVergne, TN
Credit Card Scam
I have been the victim of credit card scams through VistaPrint.com for several years. In doing research online, I've found thousands of other victims internationally and the consumers in this country need to be aware of this.
Though I have been a client since 2002 – placing almost 100 orders for multiple businesses on several different credit cards – I recently found a trail of fraud that has led back to years of bogus charges for phantom and nonexistent products, services and memberships all tracing back to VistaPrint and its affiliates. This is money stolen from, not only from my personal credit cards but also from multiple businesses, one of which includes a nonprofit animal shelter where every penny counts.
Unbeknownst to me, VistaPrint provided my credit card information to third parties who charged for things such as magazine subscriptions and fraudulent products, services, and membership rewards programs. The most infuriating part of this blatant theft is that VistaPrint claims I’ve ordered such things when I clearly haven’t.
A recent report done by a Harvard Law professor and lawyer, also explains that VistaPrint's website is laden with spyware that pulls personal information from site visitors. I’ve made complaints and reported this to 35 state, local and federal consumer agencies and authorities to combat this fraud to recover my money and I have had no response. This is not only frustrating but very pathetic that the very agencies that are supposed to protect consumers are not protecting us or our businesses. There are thousands of other victims who still don’t know about these practices. I will keep fighting until I am fully reimbursed and the state and federal agencies investigate VistaPrint's illegal activities.
- Leigh Grady, Massachusetts
Playing Online Games I Was Hacked!
I’ve been using Pogo.com to play online games for almost two years. I’ve never really had a problem with the site, until I noticed that someone had hacked into my account to play my games. There were times when I was playing a game and the hacker would kick me out of the play room and would even go as far as to shut my chat room!
It took me a few days to notice that someone had hacked into my account. But once I realized what was happening, I went ahead and changed my username and password. I made sure I had a very difficult password (with numbers). Now, I also make sure that when I login to Pogo.com, I am in a secure area so that my account is not hacked again. Ever since I changed my password, I haven’t had any more problems.
- Anonymous, Port St. Lucie, FL